From New Statesman:
James Cameron’s new film, Avatar, may be breaking box-office records, but the Vatican is not impressed — or amused. The Holy See’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, has called it “bland” and “facile”, while its radio station claimed that the 3-D spectacular was “a wink towards the pseudo-doctrines which have made ecology the religion of the millennium … Nature is no longer a creation to defend, but a divinity to worship.”
The comment comes just days after the Pope publicly criticized world leaders for failing to agree a treaty at the Copenhagen climate summit. “To cultivate peace, one must protect creation,” he said. But he has also warned before against “a new pantheism tinged with neo-paganism, which would see the source of man’s salvation in nature alone, understood in purely naturalistic terms”.
I agree with the Pope that “being green” has gone way beyond a general duty to take reasonable care of our environment. For many, it now has a moral authority that allows them to feel no qualms about aggressively berating others for flying off somewhere warm on holiday, for driving a large car, or for buying non-locally produced fruit, let alone committing an act as heinous as eating shark’s fin soup — never mind that it is a dish whose popularity dates back to the days of the Ming Dynasty (though I’ve always found it pretty tasteless, myself).
[Read more at New Statesman]